Springs are an amazing device that can store energy when it’s altered from its original state. The spring can then release this energy when the load is removed and therefore returning it to its original state.
Springs are used in vehicles to help absorb changes in the terrain such as bumps or potholes that would otherwise jolt the vehicle. At the time a wheel enters a pothole for example, the spring releases energy at the time the wheel moves into the hole. The spring would then reabsorb this energy as the wheel exits the hole.
The spring rate is the measurement of a spring’s energy storage and is measured in terms of how much force is required to deflect it by a given amount.
Linear or Fixed-rate BehaviourIs when the spring compresses at a constant rate or measurement to the increase in load placed upon it. For example, if 50kg were placed on a spring and it moved 1cm. The spring’s rate would be 50kgs/cm and an additional 50kg would result in a 2cm compression.
Rising-rate BehaviourThis spring rate is more exponential and is highly suitable for vehicle applications. For example, if 50kg were placed on a spring and it moved 1cm, it may take 150kg for it to move another centimetre. This spring behaviour may allow substantial compressions for medium loads but without fully compressing under heavy loads. The downside to a linear rate spring is that the spring may be rigid enough for heavy loads but too rigid for light loads.